Ferber, Elizabeth 1967-

views updated

FERBER, Elizabeth 1967-


Born 1967. Education: Graduated from Barnard College; New York University, M.A.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Random House/Bantam Dell Books Publicity Department, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.


Writer and journalist.


Pussywillow (children's book), University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1995.

(With others) The Walker's Companion, illustrated by Cathy Johnson, introduction by Ann H. Zwinger, Time-Life Books (Alexandria, VA), 1995.

Soon Found, Soon Lost (novel), Yardbird (Harrisburg, PA), 1995.

Yasir Arafat: A Life of War and Peace, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1995.

Diabetes, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1996.

Steven Spielberg: A Biography, Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1996.

A Life with Animals: Jane Goodall, Benchmark Books (New York, NY), 1997.

The Vegetarian Life: How to Be a Veggie in a Meat-eating World, Berkley Publishing Group, 1998.

(With Lynn C. Franklin) May the Circle Be Unbroken: An Intimate Journey into the Heart of Adoption, Harmony Books (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Roger Granet) Why Am I up, Why Am I Down?, Dell (New York, NY), 1999.

Contributor to periodicals, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and New York magazine.


Journalist Elizabeth Ferber has authored or coauthored several books, including the novel Soon Found, Soon Lost. Focusing on a mother-daughter relationship, the 1995 novel tells the story of Amanda and her daughter Caroline. As the novel opens, Amanda is a temporary worker who is nearing thirty and has a one-night stand in New York with a Senegalese man named Adam. Adam disappears after Amanda becomes pregnant, whereupon the disgruntled Amanda moves to Maine to get away from New York City and from her mother. After giving birth to Caroline, Amanda continues to work at a series of lowly jobs and engage in numerous affairs. Much like her mother, Caroline becomes angry and disillusioned. She finally joins the Peace Corps and sets out for Africa to find her father. When she does, the welcome she receives is not what she expected.

After writing her novel, Ferber turned to more journalistic pursuits, including biographies of Yasir Arafat, Steven Spielberg, and Jane Goodall. In Yasir Arafat: A Life of War and Peace, published less than a decade before the Palestine leader's death in 2004, Ferber tells the life story of the Middle East leader, beginning from his birth into a well-to-do family, through his childhood, and onto his contentious political career. Critics deemed the biography thorough and conscientious. As Anne O'Malley, writing in Booklist, noted, "Ferber's biography ably traces Arafat's political career and gives solid background on the tumultuous history of the Arab-Israeli scenario." School Library Journal contributor Sandra Olmstead commented that "Ferber offers readers a fair, straightforward account of Arafat's life, neither condoning his past violence nor praising his recent peace."

Ferber has also written about medical issues, including bipolar disorder in Why Am I up, Why Am I Down?, which she cowrote with psychiatrist Roger Granet. In Diabetes she introduces adolescents with diabetes who talked with the author about their lives and how they have coped with the disease. Ferber then goes on to provide information on the disease and its diagnosis and treatment. Science Books & Films contributor Daniel E. Leb said that the book contains some errors and is "overly optimistic" in its presentation concerning the possibilities of "prevention," but added that "the book can provide concerned patients and families with information and reassurance through others' experiences." Carolyn Phelan, writing in Booklist, noted that children with the disease, as well as their friends and family, "will find this a matter-of-fact presentation of how diabetes and its management changes young peoples' lives and how they can live with the disease successfully."

Ferber turns to the issue of adoption in May the Circle Be Unbroken: An Intimate Journey into the Heart of Adoption, which she cowrote with Lynn C. Franklin. The book is partially the memoir of Franklin, who gave up her newborn son, Andrew, in 1966 under pressure from her parents, who felt that their unwed daughter was not ready to raise a child. Franklin and her son eventually reunited in 1993 when Franklin received a call from him on the day of her father's funeral. Ferber and Franklin recount Franklin's emotional journey and then go on to take a comprehensive view of adoption, from its earliest history in the Bible to current adoption laws. Reviewers praised the book's informative approach. Writing in the Chicago Tribune Books, Patty Dann commented that May the Circle Be Unbroken "is an extraordinarily full source book dealing with all kinds of subjects, including infertility, how to find information on adoption on the Internet, foreign adoptions, transracial adoptions, adoption and the media, lesbian adoptions, and legal rights of adoptees and their birth parents." A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book "a helpful guide for readers already convinced of the wisdom of open adoption."



Booklist, October 1, 1995, Anne O'Malley, review of Yasir Arafat: A Life of War and Peace, p. 300; December 15, 1996, Carolyn Phelan, review of Diabetes, p. 715.

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 1995, review of Soon Found, Soon Lost, p. 491.

Library Journal, October 1, 1998, Rebecca Miller, review of May the Circle Be Unbroken: An Intimate Journey into the Heart of Adoption, p. 119.

Publishers Weekly, October 5, 1998, review of May the Circle Be Unbroken, p. 69.

School Library Journal, December, 1995, Sandra Olmstead, review of Yasir Arafat, pp. 134-135; February, 1997, Lois McCulley, review of Diabetes, p. 114.

Science Books & Films, April, 1997, Daniel E. Leb, review of Diabetes, p. 86.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), December 20, 1998, Patty Dann, review of May the Circle Be Unbroken, p. 6.*

About this article

Ferber, Elizabeth 1967-

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article